Solo exhibition and book launch ARTE-FACTS
“Arte-facts” is an art exhibition and artist’s book by Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Associate Professor of Photography and Museum Studies at the Cyprus University of Technology and the group leader of “Museum Lab” at the research centre RISE.
The art project “arte-facts” looks into the relationships of Cypriots with archaeology. Several houses in Cyprus own modern copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. While, “original” statues are exhibited as museum objects on pedestals or behind glass cases both in Cyprus and abroad, these real-size copies step down from their pedestals and live an everyday life. They become domestic objects, often exposed to various weather conditions and placed alongside plants and other everyday objects. The series focuses on one of these statues often found in gardens, the statue of Aphrodite of Soli, a marble statue from the 1st century BC found by a farmer while ploughing his field, and now exhibited at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.
The exhibition includes mainly photographic works, silkscreens and a virtual reality (VR) experience. An artist’s book which completes the series of works will also be launched during the exhibition. The book, apart from the photographs, includes short texts from the following academics, curators and artists: Dimitris Platzos (Professor of Classical Archaeology), Yiannis Hamilakis (Professor of Archaeology and Modern Greek Studies), Hercules Papaioannou (Curator of Photography), Polina Nikolaou (Historical-Cultural Geographer), Kyriaki Costa (Artist), Nicos Philippou (Photographer and Lecturer), Mette Sandbye (Professor of Photographic Studies), Elena Stylianou (Associate Professor in Art and Art Theory), and Eleana Yalouri (Associate Professor of Anthropology).
Hercules Papaioannou, Curator at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (MOMus), οne of the book’s invited authors, comments on the series in the following text:
“Photography appeared in the first half of the 19th century, the period in which tourism emerged, archaeology was established and the process of nation-state formation evolved. Photography has played a key role in shaping national ideology in many countries, including Cyprus. Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert’s Arte-facts series deals with the negotiated space of antiquities photography using a similar approach with photographers such as Ian Walker and Julian Germain, who draw together images from a variety of sources, uses and time periods. The reference point of the series is the statue of Aphrodite of Soloi, found in the homonymous rural area of Cyprus and currently on display in the country’s main archaeological museum.
The careful mixing of commemorative photographs with copies of the statue, excavation and museum documents, and archival images depicting photographers in archaeological sites in Cyprus, indicates a meaning-making process that uses a wide range of images. In some of these images, cut-out photographers or archaeologists record antiquities in utter whiteness, perhaps symbolic of the emergence of the findings in light through total darkness. Perched on stairs, they find themselves in a fine balance between art (arte) and documentation (facts), a balance that is perhaps the most crucial theoretical and aesthetic question in photography. The statue of Aphrodite, completely mutilated, surrenders to scientific processes, modern and postmodern codes, failing to defend its integrity and its age, which are difficult to reconstruct, despite the sharpness of the image.” Hercules Papaioannou.
Tuesday – Friday 2pm – 6pm
Saturday 11am- 3pm or by appointment (96 456146)
Opening and Book Launch:
March 13 at 7.30 pm
Phytorio, 2 Nehrou Street, Nicosia Municipal Gardens
Duration: 13.03.20 – 27.03.20